An engaging rewards program is a foundational element for gathering data and leveraging customer insight. Programs that have what amounts to a cash-back feature—as many do when they rely on gift cards as primary redemption vehicles—can often provide discounts more cost effectively than one-size-fits-all promotions. Reward points create a currency for highly targeted offers to drive specific desired outcomes.

Through the use of well-designed tiers, some of the best loyalty programs provide incentives that encourage customers to spend more to earn higher rewards and obtain access to unique services and experiences.

Look at airlines for example. How often to you consider how many MQMs you need to make Platinum status? This is an example transactional loyalty in which the brand is providing value in exchange for increased shopping. This incentivizes customers to increase their spending, and many customers will just respond to take advantage of the special offer.

Another important strategy for loyalty programs for practices and medspas is the concept of personalization. To get your loyalty program off the ground, design it to be responsive to what each group of your patients really want. To do this requires segmenting your database by audience; for example, patients who have had a treatment, patients who have (fill in blank) treatments, patients who came in for a consultation but never had a treatment. You can also segment your database by the obvious male vs female, age group, geography, skin type, etc.

Delivering a loyalty program that specific patients want can really set you apart to be more relevant and unique.

Just keep in mind that your patients live online and their mobile devices, which are their constant companions in the shopping journey. Reaching these customers via an app or Instagram can be very effective. Don’t announce all of the components of your loyalty program to everyone upfront. Leave yourself some room for tweaks and upgrades as you go, and to offer something special to a select group of patients.

Loyalty programs can offer practices a meaningful competitive advantage if they are well designed and rolled out efficiently.

Looking for more branding and marketing tips? Check out Wendy Lewis’ best-selling book, Aesthetic Clinic Marketing in the Digital Age (CRC Press 2018).